Discrimination Complaint Properly Dismissed; Contractual Shortening of Statute of Limitations Was Reasonable

In Curtis v. Marino, 2022 NY Slip Op 00499 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dept. Jan. 27, 2022), the court unanimously affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint, which contained causes of action for discrimination under the New York State and City Human Rights Laws, as untimely.

From the decision:

Supreme Court properly found the arbitration agreement enforceable, as its terms were not “substantively unconscionable when made” (Ortegas v G4S Secure Solutions [USA] Inc., 156 AD3d 580, 580 [1st Dept 2017], quoting Gillman v Chase Manhattan Bank, 73 NY2d 1, 10 [1988]). The contractual shortening of the statute of limitations for plaintiff’s claims under the New York City and New York State Human Rights Law to one year is “inherently reasonable” (Ortegas, 156 AD3d at 580 [limitations period shortened to six months]; see also Executive Law § 297[5] [one year to file administrative complaints]; Administrative Code of City of NY § 8-109[e] [same]).

The court also held that “to the extent the agreement requires arbitration of plaintiff’s discrimination claims, it is not unconscionable as arbitration offered plaintiff an opportunity to pursue his claims,” and further rejected plaintiff’s “contention that CPLR 7515, which bars mandatory arbitration of discrimination claims only prospectively (CPLR 7515[b][i]), and post-dates the arbitration agreement, requires invalidation of the arbitration provision on public policy grounds.”

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